E.A. Sports Today

The next step

Donoho golfers Jacob LeCroy and Harrison Hughston get emotional as they sign college scholarship

Donoho golfers Jacob LeCroy (L) and Harrison Hughston unveil their college choices at Wednesday’s signing ceremony.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Jacob LeCroy is one of the most emotionally steady players you’ll find on a golf course; nothing rattles him. Need to hit an important shot late in the round from a dicey lie? No problem. Two shots back with three holes to play? Ramp up the grind. A five-footer to win with your closest challenger already in the hole with birdie? It’s good.

There just aren’t many situations that cause the state champion Donoho senior to blink, but when the time came to thank everyone who made his road to a Division I golf scholarship possible, the emotion rolled out like a downhill putt from the top tier of Anniston Municipal’s No. 2 green.

Harrison Hughston (L) and Jacob LeCroy return the goods after having fun with each other’s college material during Wednesday’s signing ceremony..

LeCroy and his county champion teammate Harrison Hughston both signed college golf scholarships Wednesday, LeCroy with South Alabama and Hughston with Montevallo. Hughston choked up a bit, too, but not to the degree of LeCroy who couldn’t get past the first few lines before passing his speech over to his best friend.

“I didn’t want to, it wasn’t the plan, emotion just got the better of me,” he said. “I thought it’d be funny a bit, we’d sign and get on up out of here. It was emotional. I had a few people come up, some of my better friends. It made me tear up.”

It was understandable. The day represented the end of a long journey for both players and marked the beginning of another road that sets up their future in the game.

“It just shows you how hard they’ve worked and how much emotion is involved in reaching a goal,” said Wayne Flint, the renowned Birmingham instructor both players credit with getting them to be college-level players. “It’s obviously been a long-term goal of his and when he sat down for that 30 seconds he realized this is it, this is what I’ve worked my whole life for.

“I think you see the same thing out of Tour players. Golf is very solitary game; you’re out there a long time by yourself and there are some times you think I’m going to do this and sometimes you think can I do this. When you sit down and you’ve got that 30 seconds and you realize you’ve accomplished something you’ve thought about your whole life, it’s pretty emotional.”

Neither player initially thought about playing college golf until they started working with Flint. He put them both in a training program and they ran with it.

This summer LeCroy led the Falcons to the AHSAA Class 1A-2A state championship as low medalist, won Anniston Country Club’s Wilfred Galbraith Invitational and played in the IMG Junior World Championship at Torrey Pines for the second time.

He took the late-arriving offer from South Alabama over stronger ones from Jacksonville State and Troy because he felt most comfortable there and believes the Jags give him the best chance of fulfilling his dream of getting to the next level.

“This is just a beginning,” he said. “Today means setting up the future in the next four or five years of my life, and I’m hoping to take the next four or five years of my life and extending it to the next 30.”

Hughston chose Montevallo over offers from Birmingham Southern and Jefferson State. His game really took flight after he started working with Flint in the spring. He won the Calhoun County Tournament a few months later.

“That made a world of difference; I gained so much confidence in my game,” he said. “The whole thing with me was can I play college golf, am I good enough, can I play with these guys. Then I went out there and actually did it. I believe in myself now. I think I can play with them. I belong.”

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